Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Busting 5-Stand Clays With NEMO Arms’ NXL Lite 12 Gauge

To most hunters, NEMO Arms is probably best known for its .300 Win Mag AR-style rifle—a substantial firearm that offers 14+1 rounds of long-range goodness. While that’s a good thing to be known for, the company is also a leader in firearms technology, and the NEMO family takes pride in their ability to design, manufacture, and exceed their customers’ expectations.

What many hunters likely don’t realize is that NEMO now offers a line of top-quality over/under shotguns that are built just as well as their big-thumping ARs. The NX Series is designed from the ground up to be both stunningly beautiful and stunningly effective.

Six NEMO Shotgun Models to Choose From

nemo arms shotguns

With six different models available, these shotguns are purpose-built for superior performance on the range and in the field. The NX line includes four 12-gauge models—NXS Sport Mid Rib Cass-Color Hardened 30-inch, NXL Lite 12, NXS Sport Case-Color Hardened 30-inch and NX Standard Case-Hardened 28-inch—and two 20-gauge models, the NXL Lite 28-inch and NXL Lite 26-inch.

Intrigued by the beauty and apparent quality of the lineup from looking at the pictures, we asked NEMO for a sample model to take for a spin at our local 5-Stand range.

NEMO NXL Lite 12 Features

The sample shotgun that NEMO sent was the NXL Lite 12. And when I went to my FFL to pick it up I was super impressed before I even got a glimpse of the gun!

NEMO NXL Lite 12

This thing ships in a carrying case that exudes class and quality and just begs you to open it up and see what’s inside. The custom Negrini case is TSA-approved with three code locks, QD mounts for sling attachment, and a padded red interior with molded placements where every piece of the disassembled gun fits perfectly.

Once inside, however, the gun quickly took my mind off the case. The wood was just beautiful. Both the stock and forend are made from class A Turkish walnut with an oil-stained finish. Extensive checkering adorns each, and a butt pad on the rear tames recoil (another comes in the case for fitting). The 26-inch barrels are made from monobloc 42CrMo4 steel, and the receiver features flying bobwhite quail on the left and a flushing ringneck on the right.

The gun’s fit and finish were impeccable. In fact, it was so tight it took some effort to get the moving parts like safety/selector responsive. Even after shooting a couple of boxes through the gun, it remained just as solid feeling, although it was easy to open, close, and work the safety.

NEMO NXL Lite 12

The single gold trigger breaks at about 5 pounds, and the tang safety is also used to choose which barrel shoots first. The choke system features a 2.75-inch OAL proprietary hexagonal thread pitch based on the Bettinzoli choke system and includes a full, modified, and improved modified.

The whole package weighs in at just over 6 pounds—making for a very light, easy-to-swing scattergun. And it’s even chambered for 3-inch loads for those who might want to take it to the duck blind or maybe whack a gobbler with it.

NEMO NXL Lite on the Range With Federal High Over All

Range day was cloudy and cool, and so was my shooting. Let’s just say that the NEMO NXL Lite performed to a higher standard than I did.

federal high over all shotgun ammo

I made the quick run to Snake Creek Shooting Sports about 12 miles south of my home in Jenks, Oklahoma, to see how the gun felt in use. Snake Creek is an outstanding facility with two full sporting clays courses, a 5-stand range, an elevated wobble trap range, a rifle range, and a pistol range.

Our friends at Federal Premium were kind enough to send me some of their relatively new High Over All ammo made for elite clay shooters, and man that stuff was outstanding. Federal says the shells’ hard, high-antimony lead payload produces the most consistent patterns possible, while the solid brass head and hull design make reloading easier than ever. One thing is for sure: Any clays that made it to the ground on range day certainly didn’t do so because the ammo wasn’t up to the task.

As it turns out I was a little rusty for not shooting clays for a couple of years. And it quickly came back to me, thanks to the NEMO. The gun is so light it’s a joy to point. And it swings like a dream. After a few misses, I was soon breaking more than not. After about 50 rounds I was getting used to the gun and the targets. After breaking all five targets at the next station (a single, a report pair, and a true pair) I smiled, disassembled the shotgun, wiped it all down, and put it back in that fantastic case.

nemo nxl lite 12 gauge shotgun

NEMO NXL Lite Bottom Line

Any time you test a gun, you’re expected to draw some kind of conclusion. While my time with the NEMO NXL Lite 12 was brief, I can honestly say it was a pleasure to shoot, and just as much of a pleasure to look at. I’d be super proud to pull that thing out of its case at the clays range or bird camp, pass it around, and let everyone drool a little.

In the end, I believe it would be a top-quality shotgun for clays, upland birds and doves. I wouldn’t take it to the duck blind with me, because it’s just too pretty for that kind of treatment. Ditto for the turkey woods, where I might scratch it up and beat it all to hell.

Best of all, the NEMO carries an MSRP of just $2,250. Looking at the gun and shooting it, I would have guessed a couple grand higher!

shooting pheasants with nemo nxl lite 12 gauge shotgun

Specifications: NEMO NXL Lite 12-Gauge Shotgun

Gauge: 12 (accepts 2 ¾- or 3-inch)
Barrel Length: 26 inches
OA Length: 43.3 inches
Weight: 6.08 pounds
Sights: Bead
Receivers: Italian Italian-certified proof markings inside the receiver and extensions
Stock (and forend): class A Turkish Walnut with Oil Stained Finish
Physical features: Birds on frame—partridge on left, woodcock on bottom, pheasant on right

Learn more at nemoarms.com

To check out more on NEMO’s entire line of high-quality shotguns, visit nemoarms.com/nx-shotgun-series

We may earn a small commission from our affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

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